Thursday, October 29, 2009

Low Carb unhealthy trend hanging around..

The Biggest Loser on NBC has certainly inspired thousands of viewers across the country to get motivated about weight loss, getting fit, and eating healthier. As a supermarket dietitian I bartered my services with a local version of the Biggest Loser for recognition for my company as a sponsor. I wanted to share with you one of many emails that I have received from contestants...basically, they are very similar comments about the quantity of carbohydrates that have been recommended in the personalized dietary assessments provided by yours truly. Ok, here's the email exchange...

Contestant (female): Is that number under carbohydrates correct? I think it says something in the 200's?

Barb/Nutritionist: Yep – the carb number is correct. Unfortunately due to the media blitz of low-carb diets many people are under the wrong impression that carbs are bad. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy production in the human body (basically, to sustain life!). It’s true that Americans consume more than recommendations and are likely to eat more of these types of calories and so gain weight.

The CHO recommendations for all BL2 contestants is on the conservative side. If you want to restrict, you can try it, however, what I’ve seen time and time again is that it causes rebound weight gain. So, you will lose weight initially but unless you maintain this style of eating for the rest of your life you will gain the weight back and then some.

Carbohydrates are found in practically all foods – dairy, vegetables, fruit, and of course grains and legumes (beans). This excludes pure protein and pure fat. One cannot live along on protein and fat as it doesn’t supply glucose to the body. The strategy is to choose mostly whole grains (high in fiber), more beans, low-fat dairy products and be aware of portion sizes and what your personal serving size goals are daily. I hope this helps!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What is a SKU?

Source (Wikipedia):

A stock-keeping unit or SKU (pronounced either as an acronym, /ˈskyuː/, or as an initialism, /ˌɛsˌkeɪˈyuː/) is a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased. Usage of the SKU system is rooted in data management, enabling the company to systematically track their inventory or product availability, such as in warehouses and retail outlets. They are often assigned and serialized at the merchant level. Each SKU is attached to an item, variant, product line, bundle, service, fee, or attachment.

SKUs are not always associated with actual physical items, but are more appropriately billable entities. Extended warranties, delivery fees, and installation fees are not physical, but have SKUs because they are billable. All merchants using the SKU method will have their own approach to assigning the SKU system based on regional or national corporate data storage and retrieval strategies. SKU tracking varies from other product tracking methods which are controlled by a wider body of regulations stemming from manufacturers or possibly third-party regulations.

Successful inventory management systems assign a unique SKU for each product and also for its variants, such as different versions or models of product or different bundled packages including a number of related products. This allows merchants to track, for instance, whether blue shirts are selling better than green shirts. Other entity tracking methods, with varying regulations, are Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and Australian Product Number (APN).

Introduction to Nutrition SKUnews

I'm here to help shoppers in Arizona and throughout the country to eat & shop healthier. My goal is to help customers stay informed about important health & nutriton issues that impact decisions made at the grocery store. Posts will cover nutrition-related information on food trends, food product labeling and health & wellness marketing. With over 40,000 products found in most supermarkets today, along with multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns intended to attract customers, making the best nutritional choices can be challenging.

I am a Registered Dietitian for a locally-owned and operated supermarket chain in Arizona. As a supermarket dietitian, I believe there is a great potential to impact the public health of the customers in Arizona. Funding for health & wellness campaigns in many retailers nationwide are supported by food manufacturers. This may seem like a conflict of interest (in some situations), however, as a dietitian, my goal is to serve as an advocate for the customer and their health. There is great potential as a supermarket dietitian to educate both customers and retailers on healthy food choices. The bottom line...we sell groceries and cater to our customers. You have the power to vote with your food purchases. The more you vote with healthy foods, the more these foods will be available in your stores!

Healthfully yours,